Your Kalia Neighbors: The Ticos (aka the Costa Rican People)

We hear it over and over again: One of the best parts about living in Nosara are the people you count as neighbors.

Living in a Kalia community is exactly that – community. It’s incredible how like-minded neighbors from around the world, from all walks of life, can come together and create a very special place for us all to call home.

And, while many of our residents hail from abroad, today we thought we’d focus on the people who have lived here their whole lives: The Ticos.

The Costa Rican People (aka the Ticos)

First things first: Why are Costa Ricans called “Ticos”? The answer comes down to one linguistic habit: Instead of appending the diminutive –ito to words, Costa Ricans add –ico or ­–tico. So, instead of chico (boy) becoming chiquito, Costa Ricans may take it a step further and say chiquitico. Hence, the “Ticos.”

As a whole, Ticos are known for their warmth: Wherever you go, someone is smiling. And while we all like a friendly neighbor, what you’ll really love is how Costa Rican kindness plays out in everyday life. Generally speaking, Ticos are very patient with Spanish language-learners, so you need not stress about your woeful verb conjugations or kindergarten vocabulary. Costa Ricans are polite (sometimes to the extreme). Someone’s always willing to help. You’ll feel welcome here. And you’ll make friends.

In addition to being kind, Costa Ricans are educated and courteous. They are proud of their heritage and culture, especially their commitment to peace. (Costa Rica abolished its army in 1948.) They’re also an eclectic bunch, with a population of 4.8 million and heritages hailing from native Americans (indigenous), Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. (Fun fact: In Limón province, where many Caribbean immigrants settled, English is the first language of many.)

Costa Rican National Pastimes

Costa Ricans are very family oriented. (Don’t worry, make good friends and you’ll be considered one of the family!) Much of everyday life, from meals to celebrations, revolves around the family. Extended families often live together and when they don’t, they’re usually not far from each other. It’s a loving, if lively environment!

Traditionally, one of the enduring Costa Rican pastimes is music and dance. Ticos love both, so it’s no surprise that they’re often one and the same. While international pop is popular here, Spanish-language ballads and traditional musical styles still reign supreme: Salsa, merengue and cumbia (danced swing criollo, not traditional cumbia) are so popular that they can still be heard on every street corner.

Soccer, or fútbol, is Costa Rica’s passion. Every region has a team, and every team has its loyal fans. Do yourself a favor, and go to a match. It’s inexpensive, it’s Costa Rican, and it’s a lot of fun!

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Should You Learn Spanish?

The short answer: You don’t have to, but we think you should!

As we mentioned above, Costa Ricans are friendly. They’re very patient with language-learners. And they won’t hold your English against you. All that said, though: You’ll have a better time in Costa Rica if you learn the language. You’ll make even more friends. You’ll be invited into even more homes. You’ll meet even more interesting people. (Also, learning another language is good for your brain.)

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to really live in the land of “pura vida” (that’s “pure life,” Costa Rica’s unofficial motto), why not come on down? Get to know Costa Rica for yourself.

We invite you to experience Costa Rica on our incredible Discovery Tour – 4 glorious days and 3 relaxing nights of the pura vida lifestyle and excellent restaurants, of friendly smiles and your very own infinity pool. Call (800) 219-0310 to book your free Discovery Tour today or click here to learn more.